Family Structure and Sex Differences in Postdisplacement Outcomes

Daniel Rodriguez and Madeline Zavodny
Working Paper 2001-14
July 2001

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Labor force outcomes after an involuntary job loss tend to differ systematically between men and women, with women experiencing a lower probability of finding another job, a longer average duration of nonemployment, and larger losses in hours given reemployment. This study examines the role of family structure in such sex differences in postdisplacement outcomes. Data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics indicate that unmarried women have postdisplacement outcomes similar to men whereas married women’s outcomes differ considerably from those of men. The presence of children in the household appears to partially account for sex differences in postdisplacement outcomes, with women with young children less likely to be reemployed and more likely to not be in the labor force than their childless counterparts and than men.

JEL classification: J65, J63, J12

Key words: displacement, reemployment, family structure

The authors thank Marianne Bitler, Donna Ginther, and participants at the Federal Reserve System Applied Micro-economics Conference for helpful comments. Sherry Okun provided excellent research assistance. The views expressed here are the authors’ and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta or the Federal Reserve System. Any remaining errors are the authors’ responsibility.

Please address questions regarding content to Daniel Rodriguez, Goizueta Business School, Emory University, 1300 Clifton Road, Suite 554, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, 404-727-8637, 404-727-6663 (fax),, or Madeline Zavodny, Research Department, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree Street, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia 30309, 404-498-8977, 404-498-8058 (fax),